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Shoreline Alterations


Removing plant growth from the water; constructing a retaining wall in the water or along the shoreline; removing natural vegetation along the shoreline; building a beach; removing or re-arranging rocks or other objects in the water; dredging or placing fill near the shoreline.

Impact and Importance

  • The shallow water along the shoreline and the first 10 to 15 metres of land are essential to the survival of many living things. This rich and complex habitat supports plants, microorganisms, insects, amphibians, birds, mammals and fish. It is a community of living things … a home … all linked together and dependent upon one another.
  • 90% of all lake life is born, raised and fed in this area where land and water meet.
  • Any shoreline alteration, no matter how small, may have a large and destructive impact on the habitat of other living things.
  • One or two little weekend “improvement” projects at the water’s edge, multiplied by any number of similar projects undertaken by others and guess what? Say goodbye to aquatic and shoreline wildlife, and Callander Bay, as you know it!
  • Make sure that you don’t inadvertently:
    • decrease or destroy protective cover and food sources for wildlife;
    • degrade or destroy spawning beds for fish;
    • de-stabilize contaminants from the lake bed back into the water column;
    • increase erosion;
    • increase runoff and nutrients escaping from the land;
    • warm the temperature of the lake;
    • degrade the water quality;
    • encourage the growth of algae and aquatic plants by introducing phosphorus or nitrogen into the Bay.

Regulations and Recommendations

  • Get good advice before you start. Talk to people in the know: Ministries of Natural Resources and Environment; Conservation Authority. Work permits may be required.
  • Don’t fool with Mother Nature – preserve the aquatic habitat and shoreline or restore them back to their natural state.
  • Plant more vegetation on your property.
  • Limit your “landscaping in the water” – minimize the disturbance to aquatic plants, rocks and other objects.
  • Don’t build a beach in the water – consider a dry beach above the high water mark, or better yet, a floating dock or swimming platform. This lets you enjoy your property in a more environmentally friendly manner.

Hints and Information

  • Waterfront alterations either in the water or up to the high water mark may require approval and/or a permit from Ministry of Natural Resources under the Public Lands Act. Call 705-475-5550 for more information.
  • All shoreline activities require prior approval and a permit from the Conservation Authority under the Conservation Authorities Act. Also consult the Authority regarding the applicability of Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulations. Call 705-474-5420 for more information.
  • Some shoreline structures such as a retaining wall may require building permit from the Municipality of Callander. Call 705-752-1410 for more information.
This information has been prepared as a guide only. Please contact the appropriate authorities prior to any works on your property to ensure that rules and regulations are interpreted appropriately for your individual circumstances.